THE IMPACT OF MICROFINANCING ON WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN KAKAMEGA CENTRAL DISTRICT, KENYA
Kirwa, Tecla C
Ngoze, Moses Lwamba
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Women play a crucial role in the economic development of their families and communities but certain obstacles such as poverty, unemployment, low household income and societal discriminations mostly in developing countries have hindered their effective performance of that role. As such, most of them embark on entrepreneurial activities to support their families. It is discovered that women entrepreneurship could be an effective strategy for poverty reduction in a country; since women are the worst hit in such situation. However, it is discovered that women entrepreneurs, especially in developing countries,do not have easy access to microfinance factors for their entrepreneurial activity and as such have low business performance than their men counterparts, whereas the rate of their participation in the informal sector of the economy is higher than males, and microfinance factors could have positive effect on enterprise performance. The purpose of the study was to establish the impact of micro financing on women entrepreneurship in Kakamega Central District. Specifically, the study sought to establish the impact of micro-credit on the performance of women entrepreneurs; the study employed a descriptive survey design. The target population will include 937 women entrepreneurs and 10 managers of the 10 MFIs in Kakamega Central District. The sample population was made up of 286 women entrepreneurs and 10 managers. Purposive sampling was used to pick managers who work in the 10 MFIs. Simple random sampling was used to select women entrepreneurs involved in the activities of the 10 MFIs in the district. Data was collected by use of questionnaires and interviews. The collected data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics such as means, frequencies percentages. Findings were presented using tables, frequency percentages, and figures.The findings of the study revealed that microcredit had great impact in empowering women economically, enhancing their communication skills, building their confidence, promoting their recognition in family, increase in decision making powers, increased income and enhanced reduction in poverty. The study recommended that the government should consider incentives (such as giving tax rebates) to microfinance’s and banks serving women entrepreneurs’ needs. Women’s Business Associations in collaboration with other business support providers should more actively advocate and lobby for a review of: Group lending practices, High interest rates, Short loan repayment periods and size of loans.